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#6500 - 11/07/05 06:15 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
BillinPhilly Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 264
A/S/L: 50 / M / Malvern, PA
I don't understand why so many people have a problem with what the USBC is trying to accomplish with regard to ball specs.

First, these rules only apply to tournaments, not to leagues at this point. And the rule change they want is for no balance holes. So all of us once a week bowlers won't have to "buy all new equipment" unless you bowl in USBC sanctioned tournaments, AND your current balls are drilled with a leverage weighted setup that uses a balance hole.

Second, the rules that allowed balance holes are now totally obsolete. Drilling a leverage or balance hole only settles the weight difference between top and side weight of the ball. This is an old rule that was instituted back in the days of hard rubber bowling balls, because some uscrupulous people then used to drill a hole, add lead weights, then plug over the holes to change the dynamic of the ball. This is why tournaments only allowed balls that weren't plugged, because plugged balls needed to be x-rayed to see if there were any lead weights inside.

Today, the motion of the bowling ball is driven by the shape and direction of the weight block that is turning inside the ball. If you can imagine an ice-pop, we all made those. Think of the stick as the pin. Now imagine creating a bowling ball around the ice pop. The stick IS the pin. It shows you where the top of the weight block is.

Now as you can imagine, drilling the ball with the pin or stick directly under your palm will cause the weight block to turn on one axis when you throw it. Drilling the ball with the pin or stick 7 inches from your palm is going to cause the weight block to turn on a totally different axis, and produce a totally different reaction. And drilling a small hole to remove one ounce or so of material to bring the difference between top and side weight into line won't affect that. This is why the rules on balance holes are now totally obsolete.

I am an experienced bowler returning to the game. The last time I bowled regularly in a league before this season was in 1998. I used to average about 180. My current league has been running for about 6 weeks. I'm hanging in with a mid to high 150's average, and am literally learning to make shots again. But I hit a 190, a 187, and a 209 my 4th week back, and I'm making tough spares, like the 5-7. My average has been climbing a few pins every week. Yes, I am using old e****ent, most of which was drilled about 15 years ago - including an old black Hammer.

I've been a bowler who has always worked and struggled to improve. I've attended conferences, I've bought videos and books, I've videotaped myself and watched, I've learned spare systems, etc. I've practiced and learned fundamentals - 4 step delivery, timing, rythm, free arm swing, etc. I've worked for and earned my average and my skills, I didn't buy it out of a box. So I disagree with what a previous poster put up - It's not "low average bowlers who want to bring people down". In fact, its not about bringing people down at all. Its about "are you really any good, or is your equipment Bowling 200 for you?"

I am AMAZED at what's happened in bowling ball technology just in the couple years that I was away and not paying attention, and I got a lesson the first week I was back.

Now here's what I see when I look around my league: 1) A bunch of overweight 300 lb guys who drink 5 - 7 beers or more over 3 games and are falling down drunk by the end of the third game. 2) Old guys, 65+, who barely have the strength to walk down the approach with the ball and who toss it at about 4 mph 3) Guys who take 9 steps on the approach and slide on the wrong foot 4) Young kids who throw 8 lb "helicopter" balls at 65 mph without putting their fingers in the ball at all 5) Girls who run up the approach with light 10 - 12 lbs balls, don't slide at all, and almost fall over at the release. A bunch of people with no fundamentals whatsoever.

And you know what? They're all stringing strikes and bowling over 200. Why?
a) Ridiculous ball technology - "magic" offset weight block cores and scientifically engineered coverstocks that come with pre-defined drill patterns to work magic for whoever has $200 to buy one. 200 average off the shelf in a box.
b) EASY oil patterns. Miss the target by 3 to 5 boards and still get a strike. The oil pattern pulls the ball right back to the pocket, even if you make a lousy shot.
c) LIGHT pins. Barely tap one of these pins, and it goes flying and takes out 3 other pins with it. Get a light pocket hit, messengers go everywhere, still carry a strike. I've never seen light balls carry like this in the past. Pin bounce and reaction is incredible.

We have a 13 year old kid who's been bowling for a year. His daddy just bought him one of these $200 wonder balls, and he just shot a 700 series the second time he used the thing in our league.
His average before that was 145. Yes, its the ball.

So how can you say the game is not too easy, when 13 year old kids with one year of bowling experience are hitting 700, people with no Bowling Fundamentals at all are stringing strikes constantly and hitting 200, and drunks are bowling 650?

THIS is why membership is down and the game is declining. People are tired of this nonsense. Alcohol, drunks, young kids bowling ridiculous, and teams who have no fundamentals and aren't even any good, except for their equipment. They've taken the skill factor out of it and turned it into a meaningless game where anybody with access to a good Pro Shop can bowl 200, and even 300 is in now in reach for the average bowler. More 300''s are being bowled now than ever. None of it means anything anymore, so what's the point?

No, I respectfully disagree. I think the USBC is on the right track here. And if some people want to quit because of these simple changes - bowling is probably better off without them. You're all over-reacting.

Personally, I don't think the changes go far enough. I think a 200 average SHOULD mean something and SHOULD have to be worked for and earned - not bought out of a box. And I, for one, would like to see more of these rules, and I'd like to see them applied to leagues, too, not just tournaments. And not just changes to bowling balls, but also oil patterns and pin weight, too. It's a combination of all 3, and this issue is only going to be resolved by changing all 3 - ball technology and how balls can be drilled, oil patterns, and pin weight.
_________________________
"Bowling should be played by bowlers, not physicists." - CoachJim

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Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
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A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#6501 - 11/12/05 03:08 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
ExBronxiteBowler Offline
PBA Senior Bowler

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 587
A/S/L: M 66 Staten Island, NY
<Quote> Personally, I don't think the changes go far enough. I think a 200 average SHOULD mean something and SHOULD have to be worked for and earned - not bought out of a box. And I, for one, would like to see more of these rules, and I'd like to see them applied to leagues, too, not just tournaments. And not just changes to bowling balls, but also oil patterns and pin weight, too. It's a combination of all 3, and this issue is only going to be resolved by changing all 3 - ball <end quote>

Thats all fine and good, however, given the mindset of current league bowlers, you will destroy your league base in order to bring back intregrity back into bowling.... The biggest culprit is the OIL PATTERNS.... In the ABC Nationals, US Open, ABC Masters, the same high end equipment and pins are used as is during league and yet the scores are much lower... why? Because the oil pattern is not very forgiving.... Moreover, a team of players can open up thier pair very nicely if they all play about the same shot and make moves together as a team... The same moves. A skilled player can make a track shot seem like its a very easy shot...


I, personally, would have beat you back in the early 70's, mid 70's, late 70's, 80's 90's and now. The only difference would be how high the scores are. In the mid 70's I LOVED dry lanes, I threw very hard and very straight and averaged 185-190 back when that was a respectable average. I recall in my old house in The Bronx bowling action and bowling on certain pairs and averaging 220 on that one easy pair back then... and bowling on other pairs and struggling to bowl my average. In those days, each LANE was different becuase of the grain of the wood, never mind having pairs that are different.... you didn't complain, you adjusted to the lane.

It would be nice if we could get bowling back to that era, but that is never going to happen. The cat has been let out of the bag by the abc and nothing will bring it back. You can neutralize the scores using tougher oil patterns, but someone will find a way of scoring well on it. Persoanly, I'd rather see very little hold area with more swing area since I can create hold by how I line up, and how I play the lanes...
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#6502 - 11/13/05 01:12 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA"> In those days, each LANE was different becuase of the grain of the wood, never mind having pairs that are different.... you didn't complain, you adjusted to the lane.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">And I miss those days. I knew that lanes 3.4 were good, 25,26 were bad and expect to struggle. ETc.......that's the way the house went and as you bowled in the house you learned its little characteristics per lane.

Today, on TV, I see the pros bowl on lanes that are been assembled in whatever fascility is available. Seldom does the personality of the house hosting the event come into play during TV. And obviously by the current scoring pace, the bowlers have grown very comfortable with those portables.

Erin

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#6503 - 12/03/05 02:31 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Don Smith Offline
Junior

Registered: 11/26/05
Posts: 24
A/S/L: 39/ Male/ Ohio
Wow, I think all of you make excellent points. Who knows what the answer really is?
For the most part across America I would say that the majority of bowlers, bowl once a week, and one or two local tournaments a year. And as you know, they all like to bowl really good, and they pay the big bucks to do so. They don't want to spend $150 to $200 bucks for a ball and it not work in thier own house! Come on, that's not right.(LOL)
I think it all comes down to what ruins a lot of sports, and it's the all mighty dollar. There is no way a bowling ball, should cost what it does, or promise that it will do this or that, and that's what people believe they are paying for. Once the industry set back and said, how can we really get into some big bucks? BAM! There went the integrity of the game.
Look at baseball, more homeruns than ever, are batting averages higher? No, but they made a ball with a stronger core, because homeruns fill the seats. A perfect batting average in baseball would be 1,000, if you average 300 your a great hitter, that's only 30%. In bowling if you average 180, that's 60%, and by today's standard, your fair.
Records are shattered,just like bowling, people shooting 850's all over the country, 50 pins from perfection!
The only way to get bowling back to what it was, would mean a pay cut for the industry. I agree, you can kill a lot of scores with the lanes, because even though Joe Bowler has his fancy set up for his favorite shot, it goes out the window on a tougher pattern, because he doesn't know how to adjust in anyway, shape or form.
Bowling with have to re-vamp itself with a new generation, teaching them that if you average 175, your a good bowler, because it's tough what your trying to do, as it should be.
We have way to many people that have tasted the fruit's of many, many 700's, and some 800's. And the sad fact is, bowling needs those people's dollars to survive right now. So, we have to keep them happy until they die out, and bring a new generation in, that has a better understanding of skill. We have to re-eduacate, in order to revamp, meanwhile, keeping some happy until they give up the game.
And by the way, you all know more than me on this matter, but this is my opinion.

Big Don
_________________________
Don

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#6504 - 01/02/06 11:49 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
I think the weight hole rule is pretty stupid. Ball manufacturers will just start making balls with levrege weight inside of them instead of drilling holes. Anyone remember The Axe?

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#6505 - 03/16/06 08:15 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Kevin Frantz Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 03/16/06
Posts: 2
A/S/L: 22 M NY
i dont really see the ball technology being the problem. I think its some of the older bowlers that are arguing that the balls must go but they are here and they are not leaving. what a ball is designed to do and what it can do are really up to the person using it and the lane conditions. I've been bowling for 3 years and have developed a long way in that time. I went from my straight ball days to back-up balls cause i wanted to see a hook to being taught by a bowling coach, at the college i work for, on how to truely through a real hook. From there it was through practice and redifination of the things he taught me to get where i am today. My buddy and I are on the same team and throw 2 totally different shots and both have about the same average. the difference comes down to the style... Mike can not figure out to throw a powerful hook; I can. I can take the same ball he used that was mostly straight at the pocket and curved a little, and make it snap from the gutter into the pocket (or if the lanes are dry... scream past the 7 pin)

Its the oil conditions that make and break a game. I bowled in a sanctioned league where the oil conditions are not consistant. people were actually quiting the league with inconsistancy being the factor. you would go from soupy oil to burned out cant even keep a plasticball straight conditions.

I also think that maybe reducing the size of the backnd will help because where i work we have no stripping machine. we can only strip the lanes once a month because we have to manually lay the stripper down and then vaccuum it up. we are such a small alley that we do not have the funds to get new equipment. so this means that normally there is no back end. this makes it harder for "hookers" because it reduces the friction on the lane.
_________________________
funk strikes... I wanna convert more splits

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#6506 - 03/16/06 02:37 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
stuckmehere Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 6
A/S/L: 49/M/RH/Omaha
I have read all the previous posts and agree with most that scores today are not necessarily indicative of skill or talent. As a bowler who has in the last 30 years seen many changes, I can always remember technology or doctoring balls as a part of the game of bowling. How many times have I seen people break out illegal devices to sand, clean or polish a surface to affect change in a bowling ball during league and tournament play. Coverstocks and weight blocks have changed but drilling a ball to benefit your game is nothing new. Bowlers will always try and gain an advantage because bowling generates prizes and cash, whether it is a pot or a patch pride is unfortunately only one part of winning. There are puritans out there that think Walter Ray (when) he passes Earl doesn't deserve it because of the ball technology. Face it folks you still have to throw the darn thing. I have thrown 750 with a purple "Angle" and 140 with a "Big One". They are not magic. I will not disagree with what you see on the lanes, fat guys who drink beer all sorts of people who have varying styles shapes and sizes. Isn't that what is really cool about bowling, anyone with a ball and some shoes can do it. What are leagues really about but getting together with friends on a Friday night and having some fun. Competition is a good thing and it will always be a part of bowling. Just choose your battles BRO(or SIS)! If the fat drunk is beating you and you have experience and have been coached and study the game of bowling, then that's your fault. Knowlege is power, that's why your here! The fat drunk (myself excluded) isn't reading this. There will always be those who try and buy their way into the game. Ask Barry Bonds about all those home runs. I say who cares if honor scores go up, good for them, I have been bowling for 30 years and I have come close many times but still dont have a perfect game thus my sign in name. I don't ever remember saying to someone who has a 300 but was any of your shots a brooklyn? I just congratulate them. Some of you need to throttle back and Change the game where it counts, make the City Tournaments shot difficult. Soak the "Nationals" shot( I guarantee it will be anyway). Change the State Tournaments to include no plugs or holes and include your label. That's where it matters. I could care less if I run into a guy that has a 220 on a house shot. I ask him when the last time he ever bowled somewhere else or God-forbid a traveling league? When Brian Voss won his last title making it 24 years and 24 titles did anyone go OH but he did it on a Cheetah pattern. NO. I love this game as I am sure all of you do. Every dog has his day, I just wannabeperfect once.

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#6507 - 03/16/06 04:30 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Bama Slamma Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/05/05
Posts: 73
A/S/L: 26/male/Alabama
I know this is probably gonna open up a huge can of worms, but what exactly is the problem with "high scores?" How exactly have they "hurt the credibility" of our sport? Shouldn't we be able to roll a high game and get a "congratulations" instead of "the lane condition was too easy." Even if the lane condition is "easy," it still takes skill to get the ball to the pocket. What exactly is the target level for score lowering? Do we want to get it to the point of professionals rolling 140 games on TV? The "house bowlers" that average 200+ on a house shot don't often make it on the PBA because the lane conditions are a lot tougher and the pressure is a lot higher. As of now I average about 155-160 on house conditions with today's reactive resin and particle equipment.
_________________________
May they all fall down

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#6508 - 03/16/06 07:45 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Kevin Frantz Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 03/16/06
Posts: 2
A/S/L: 22 M NY
I agree completely. ya still gotta throw it! and thats where talent and skill comes in. I personally fear using those $200 "perfect game balls" (as broncobilly calls them) because ...well frankly i'd have an all gutter game... (he maybe thats something to shoot for). I've developped so much rev in my release that i make a "low-hooking" Brunsick groove miss everything when lane conditions are light oil...i actually bought it for heavy oil we were facing in our league and then they changed to light oil when they got a new manager... I can actually take a plastic balla nd throw itstraight down at the first arrow next to the right gutter and have it find the pocket...

I think in this case the bowler is too much for the equipement... and sadly my scores show it...i only have 1 300 to my 3 yrs of bowling but at this house my average is only about 130-140... this is my only sanctioned league i bowl in. sadly they call it a "fun"league but its nothing like that. people there are too serious about every little thing and they are clearly there for the win and the prize money. I'm actually finding that I do better in non-sanctioned tournaments and leagues.. not because they are "easier". In fact i think the conditions in those leagues are harder... They just happen to be more fun... People there arent acting like the things between there legs... they arent there for the wins or the prizes... they are there for the friendships, the happy and fun atmosphere, and the excitement of having a good time. When the people around me are having a good time I do to and my bowling reflect that. when they are being too serious and arent having fun...i'm not having fun and my bowling reflects that. Some of my best games, series, and achievements come from non-sanctioned events including my 300...you know what... i dont care as long as i'm having fun. and thats what bowling is suppost to be about... having fun.

I wasnt going to say anything before but i think i should. I was personally offended by bronco's comments. I felt his comments about the type of people bowling was insulting. I'm 6'4 and well over 300 (closer to 370 actually) lbs. However i do not drink or smoke. I bowl because i love to. In fact i run a bowling alley at the local college. I think bama said it best when he said that the best thing about bowling is that everyone can join in. where as bronco makes it sound like it should be a sport in which only the most fit atheltes should be envolved in.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Originally posted by Bama Slamma:
I know this is probably gonna open up a huge can of worms, but what exactly is the problem with "high scores?" How exactly have they "hurt the credibility" of our sport? Shouldn't we be able to roll a high game and get a "congratulations" instead of "the lane condition was too easy." Even if the lane condition is "easy," it still takes skill to get the ball to the pocket. What exactly is the target level for score lowering? Do we want to get it to the point of professionals rolling 140 games on TV? The "house bowlers" that average 200+ on a house shot don't often make it on the PBA because the lane conditions are a lot tougher and the pressure is a lot higher. As of now I average about 155-160 on house conditions with today's reactive resin and particle equipment. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">
_________________________
funk strikes... I wanna convert more splits

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#6509 - 03/19/06 10:10 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
SportBowler Joe Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 154
A/S/L: 63/M/SoCal-RH
It's all true, you still have to throw the ball and make the shot, but once you get to a certain level in bowling you want to see how you really stack up against some of the best bowlers on pba/sport conditions. The 140-160 bowler probably won't know the difference between a house condition or a pba/sport condition. My point is: if you going to bowl just for fun then stick to the high scoring house conditions, but if you plan on raising you game to another level, you need to start bowling on more challenging conditions.

just my opinion...
_________________________
Sport 300's (7)
Sport 800's (1)
House 300's (50+)
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